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808s and Heartbreak - 80
This is the oddball in his discography. I always liked this album even if it took some getting used to. He abuses auto-tune here. I think it works, for the most part, like on songs like “Paranoid” and “Heartless.” Kanye sings a LOT on this album. The lyrics aren’t up to K’s standards (Old Kanye or New). The songs are pretty catchy, however. This album kind of changed the game so if it were which Kanye album was most important, this would be higher on the list. Top Tracks: "Heartless," "Love Lockdown," "Coldest Winter," "Amazing."
Watch the Throne - 91
I really like this album, but it sounds a little more dated than some of the other albums on this list. It’s a very well-rounded album with high replay value. “Made In America” is the worst song and is quite corny. The album seems more tailored to Kanye than Jay-Z, but Jigga is rarely outshined here. The two have chemistry… but not as much as say "Bad Meets Evil" (Eminem & Royce Da 5’9). TT: "No Church in the Wild," "N*ggas in Paris," "Otis," "H.A.M.," "New Day," "Gotta Have It."
Cruel Summer - 94
I hear there may be a Cruel Winter album on the way, and I hope it lives up to this one’s quality. This is a collaboration album, but Kanye is on most of the songs. The production is great, and the album songs are very catchy. Jay-Z, The Dream, Kid Cudi, Raekwon, and even R. Kelly drop by. “Cold” is a hot track, as is “Mercy” and “New God Flow”. TT: "Clique," "New God Flow," "Cold," "Creepers," "Mercy."
Yeezus - 95
This is a very polarizing album for Kanye fans. I really like it. I mean it has great production (as with most everything Kanye does). The lyricism was a step down from MBDTF, but still passable. “I’m bout’ to wile the f*** out, I’m going Bobby Bouche” LOL. It’s a really short album with just 10 songs. “Black Skinhead” is phenomenal as is “New Slaves.” I’m not really sure what could have made this album better. I mean he brought a cool Yeezus concept with lots of different styles. It was a fun album. Where the hell is Bound 1? Top Tracks: "Blood on the Leaves," "Bound 2," "New Slaves," "I Am a God," "Black Skinhead."
The Life of Pablo - 96
His most recent work is slap dab in the middle of his discography’s strength. Its biggest problem again is its lyricism. Sometimes he spits struggle bars. The production is fresh and unique sounding. The album kind of has a not finished feel to it, but it works. Songs like “Freestyle 4” and “Fade” and “No More Parties In LA” are brilliant. And the opener “Ultralight Beam” with Chance the Rapper and Kirk Franklin are dope. TT: "Fade," "Father Stretch My Hands 1 & 2," "30 Hours," "Ultralight Beam," "Famous," "No More Parties in L.A."
Graduation - 96
You’ll notice that this has the same score as Life of Pablo. That may or may not be a bad thing. This is my FAVORITE album by Kanye, but it’s by no means perfect. The production could have been a tad better, but lyrically he’s improved from Late Registration and College Dropout. The album is loaded with cohesive tracks. The album went head to head with 50 Cent’s Curtis album, and well, if you don’t remember it sold about 300,000 more copies first f***ing week! You can kind of see the sampling genius of Kanye be refined here for a new sound like on “Stronger.” Overall it’s a bit dated, but so much fun to listen to. Top Tracks: "I Wonder," "Stronger," "Big Brother," "Flashing Lights," "Good Life."
Late Registration - 97
Originally I had this album 4th but I’ve had a change of heart. His 2nd album is very very good. There’s just so much jam packed on this Kanye showcase. You get to hear Lupe Fiasco for the first time. He’s got Jay-Z on a remix of “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” and the original version. You’ve also got “Gold Digger,” one of his best songs, period. The album has flashy production and sharp rhymes. The skits are great too. Let’s just say Mr. West had the best rap album 2 years in a row (04-05). TT: "Gold Digger," "Diamonds F.S.L." and its remix, "Touch the Sky, Drive Slow, Gone"
College Dropout - 98
The one that started it all. Kanye came out as the Great Back pack Rapper. The album has SO MUCH creativity. Like Late Registration, the skits are funny and the beats are stellar. He samples so well here on songs like “All Falls Down” and “Through the Wire” his first hit. Who could forget about “Slow Jamz” with Jamie Foxx or Jesus Walks. His raps aren’t flawless, but his rhymes are so smart. He even tells his story on “Last Call.” Quite the guest list too: Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Common, Ludacris, Twista etc. TT: "Jesus Walks," "All Falls Down," "Slow Jamz[Extended]," "Never Let Me Down," "Through the Wire"
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - 100
Maybe you saw this coming, maybe you didn’t. This album always gets a lot of praise from me, and deservingly so. Kanye had gone through and was going through a lot in his life at the time, and the result was his best album. One thing you might notice is his lyricism. It's top notch here. Like he gave every bar a lot of thought. “Power” is incredible, while “Runaway” and “Blame Game” seem to blow away most anything on 808s. “So Appalled” and “Monster” are also great. “All of the Lights” just blows away “Flashing Lights” from Graduation production wise. In fact, the album has some of the best beats you’ll hear on any album. It is a dark album as it’s title suggests, however. Top Tracks: "Power," "Gorgeous," "Dark Fantasy," "Devil in A New Dress," "Runaway," "Lost in the World."